By Manny Ruiz
Co-Publisher, Hispanic PR Blog

Blood drives were a sacred sport at my high school. Our school was the state champion at collecting blood and every year we set higher goals to break. We beat these records every year, largely because Southwest Miami High School took collecting blood so seriously that it required every senior to donate or find a substitute person to do so. Being deathly afraid of needles as I was (and still am), I naturally paid a buddy of mine $20 to pour his veins out for me. Most every single 12th grader found a way to donate blood because if you didn’t  you would not be allowed to attend the annual senior trip to Walt Disney World called Grad Night.

In the Spring of 1988, the blood nearly ran dry.  Well, not really but you might just say it felt like that.  With just one class period left until the blood drive expired, our principal jumped on the school-wide intercom system to declare an emergency.  Scouring the list of seniors, she noted over the intercom that only about two dozen 12th graders had not personally donated blood.  Only seven donors were needed to reach the record.  

I think you know where this story is going.  

One of my classmates outed me in front of my economics class and the peer pressure from my whooping classmates rooting me on was too much. Terrified as I was of needles, I succumbed to my classmates’ demand and in the Spring of 1988, by two donors, Southwest High School broke its own record. I was a big reason for that.

The Hispanic PR Census Needs You – And You Need It

I was reminded of my alma mater’s school spirit the other day because something akin to that blood drive of 1988 is needed to galvanize the Hispanic PR industry to complete the Hispanic PR Census.  The Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) and the Hispanic PR Blog launched this unique “census” about a month ago in order to account for all marketing professionals – non-Latino and Latino alike – who spend 30 percent or more of their time engaged in Hispanic PR and/or social marketing work.  This simple multiple choice survey represents part of a major movement this year by the industry to unity for better jobs, accountability and growth.  The results of this important survey will be revealed at the opening reception of the Hispanic PR & Social Marketing Conference, May 10-12 in Dallas, TX.

Judging from my quick peek at the latest number of survey respondents, we’re not where I know we MUST be so consider this note today a clarion call.   At stake for all of us are career and business opportunities.  If you work in Hispanic PR and social marketing here’s a sample email you can help us pass around to your industry colleagues and friends:

“Dear So & So,

I don’t know if you already know about this but the Hispanic Public Relations Association and the Hispanic PR Blog are conducting a national Hispanic PR Census that attempts to count every marketing professional – Latino and non-Latino alike – who spends 30 percent or more of their time in Hispanic PR and/or social marketing.  I think you should fill it out because the survey will help our industry compile information that will lead to more opportunities for all of us.  It only takes two minutes to complete and the results of the census will be unveiled nationally at the Hispanic PR & Social Marketing Conference in Dallas, May 10-12.  

After you take the census, please pass this email along to 10 other people you know in our industry.  There’s no curse for not forwarding it so but if you let 10 other colleagues know about it you will qualify to win one of two Apple ipads that the Hispanic PR Blog is raffling.  Contest rules will be posted at and winners will be announced on March 31 and April 30.”   

If everyone of you reading this post today forwards this note to 10 people you know in Hispanic PR, what a difference you’d make.  Won’t you join your Hispanic PR and social marketing industry in helping us make it better?  

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